Eastern St. Lawrence County, New York is home to many beautiful waterfalls, but it’s likely that none are larger or more impressive than Lampson Falls.
Lampson Falls is located along the Grass River near the tiny town of Clare within the Grass River Wild Forest. At approximately 40 feet tall and 80-100 feet wide, this is a spectacular waterfall to see in person.
Getting to the top of Lampson Falls is quite easy. In fact, the trail is listed as being handicapped accessible. That being said, I think a wheelchair would struggle to get to an actual view of the waterfall, even if 99% of the trail is actually accessible.
This is, however, a perfect trail for those with strollers, at least to the first viewpoint.
All told, the trail from the parking area to the top of Lampson Falls is half a mile in length. This is along a wide and flat trail. While the forest here is quite beautiful, don’t expect anything overly exciting until you reach the waterfall.
Just before the top of the falls, the dirt road you are walking on will turn to the right and a more narrow path will come into view. Follow this path the short distance to the top of the falls.
This is the part of the trail that crosses a small series of rocks and roots right before the main viewpoint for the waterfall. While this won’t pose trouble for most, it does make me question the handicapped accessibility of this trail.
This spot is located on the eastern bank of the river and provides a nice side view of the waterfall. However, it’s far from the best view.
To get better views, take the trail to the right that heads downhill away from the waterfall. Within a short distance, this trail levels out and reaches a large open area adjacent to a flat area that kind of resembles a beach.
From this spot, there are excellent views looking out over Lampson Falls, and this would be a great spot to relax for a bit and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
At this spot, you’ll likely notice the large rock wall to your right that sits directly across a large plunge pool from Lampson Falls.
Just below the waterfall, the Grass River makes a shift around this rock wall. Because this is directly facing the waterfall, this is the best spot from which to view Lampson Falls.
To reach this viewpoint, look for the trail leading uphill from the far side of the open beach area. This trail is steep but very short, so it shouldn’t pose too much for an issue.
From there, the trail follows the ridgeline of this rocky outcrop to the front of the falls. At this spot, you are about 100 feet from the base of Lampson Falls and have a perfect view of this impressive waterfall.
Use caution if you go close to the edge along the ledge as wet rocks can be slippery, but given where the trail is, you shouldn’t have to get too close to the edge for a great view.
While I’ve heard that the trail continues downstream from this point and makes a loop back around, I opted to simply retrace my steps for the roughly 3/4-mile hike back to my car.
Overall, while Lampson Falls is a bit isolated, it’s a spot that’s worth seeking out if you love waterfalls as much as I do. This is definitely one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Thousand Island Region of New York.
How to Get to Lampson Falls
Lampson Falls is located in central St. Lawrence County, about a 20-25 minute drive southeast of the county seat of Canton.
Parking is located in a large dirt area along County Road 115 at the following coordinates: 44.405015, -75.061651.
From the parking area, walk past the gate and follow this wide dirt trail for half a mile until you reach the top of the waterfall.
Lampson Falls itself can be found at the following coordinates: 44.405531, -75.071307.
To see the other viewing areas, take the trail to the right away from the falls downhill to the beach and then back uphill again to the rocky ledge across the river.
If you hike the whole way to the ledge and back, it is a little over a mile round-trip hike.
[Click here for information on how to use the coordinates in this article to find your destination.]